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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services


Immigrant Refugee Affairs and Language Access Services

As a certified welcoming city, Philadelphia welcomes refugees and immigrants from across the globe.

DBHIDS is committed to diversifying its provider network to ensure that Philadelphia’s diverse communities can access quality behavioral health services from professionals who look like them and share a similar cultural experience and language.

The Department’s mission and vision and DEI vision guide our Immigrant/Refugee Affairs and Language Access Services. Through our collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, we develop and implement programs and initiatives that improve access to behavioral health and intellectual disability resources for the residents of Philadelphia and services and treatment modalities for those who are under-insured, uninsured, and have medical assistance coverage.

DBHIDS’ immigrant and refugee and language access efforts focus on the behavioral health and intellectual disability needs of the city’s 232,000 foreign-born residents. These residents comprise almost 15 percent of the city’s 1.5 million population’ and contribute to its economic and social fabric.

DBHIDS Language Access Service Plan & DBHIDS Language Access Policy

Language Access Steering Committee (LASC)

The LASC comprises DBHIDS staff, external stakeholders from the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and individuals from within Philadelphia’s immigrant and refugee communities. The LASC focuses on the needs of those who have limited English proficiency (LEP) or are deaf or hard of hearing (DFHH).

Migration in the 21 Century Series

This series is designed to raise awareness and examine the causes and types of migration, the trauma, the experiences that come with it, and explore the strengths-based approaches that help rebuild the lives of immigrant and refugee communities in the new land.

Community Outreach and Engagement

DBHIDS is committed to exploring and developing new and innovative diverse community outreach and engagement strategies in collaboration with community members. The Department understands that it is imperative to recognize the unique perspectives of how we serve cultural differences and to advance knowledge and enhance awareness of our Department and the vast array of resources, services, and treatment modalities offered and how to access them.

The Immigrant and Refugee Wellness Academy (IRWA)

Launched in 2022, the no-cost, 10-week training program is designed to empower and prepare Philadelphia’s multilingual/multicultural immigrants and refugees with knowledge, resources, and tools necessary to engage in activities that address trauma, behavioral health, and intellectual disability and create a pipeline to employment.

Contact Us

To contact Immigrant Refugee Affairs and Language Access Services​, please email DBHIDS.Diversity-Inclusion@Phila.gov.

Last modified: Jul 16, 2024 @ 9:23 am